Also in today's EMEA roundup: KPN shareholders approve E-Plus sale; Orange/Samsung tablets tie-up; Hutchison seeks EU approval for O2 deal.
UK regulator Ofcom has announced details of what it describes as Europe's first major pilot of "white space" technology. Around 20 private and public organizations will be taking part in the pilot over the next six months to test a range of applications that make use of "spare" spectrum. Amongst those participating will be BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Neul Ltd. , which will collaborate with the Department of Transport on a traffic information system, while Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will investigate how white spaces can offer free WiFi to the good folk of Glasgow, which has the lowest broadband take-up of any British city. (See Ofcom Puts UK White Spaces to the Test and Mommy, What's a White Space?)
Orange Business Services has entered into a partnership agreement with Samsung Corp. to help drive the use of tablets in European enterprises -- with the focus on Belgium, France, Poland and Spain. Samsung will bring its devices to the party, while Orange will bring its expertise in connectivity, services integration, device management, and enterprise-grade security.
KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) shareholders have given the thumbs-up to its proposed sale of E-Plus Service GmbH & Co. KG , its German mobile unit, to Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), reports Reuters. The €8.55 billion (US$11.6 billion) sale will create Germany's largest mobile operator in terms of subscriber numbers, with around 43 million customers. (See Euronews: KPN to Sell E-Plus for €8.1B.)
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (Hong Kong: 0013; Pink Sheets: HUWHY) is seeking approval from the European competition regulators for its proposed takeover of O2 Ireland , reports Reuters. The deal is valued at €780 million ($1.1 billion). Last month saw the arrival of 4G services in the Republic, courtesy of eir .
Brits are going crazy for tablet devices, with a third of the population using them on a regular basis this year, according to research by eMarketer. The introduction of low-cost models, such as the £119 ($193) Hudl from supermarket giant Tesco, is clearly helping drive the trend.
— Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading